8 Tips for Beginners in Kayaking: Things to Know as a First-time Paddler

8 Tips for Beginners in Kayaking: Things to Know as a First-time Paddler

If you are a lover of adventure, then kayaking should be on your bucket list. Kayaking is one of the best sports for every adrenaline junkie. As a beginner, kayaking can be intimidating at first, like any other heart-stopping sport. Well, you will perfect it with practice, passion and time. Once you have scaled that initial learning curve, it can be a great way to spend time with family and friends as you explore nature. Below are some tips that will guide you through if you are a beginner looking to venture into kayaking.

Learn Kayaking first!

Before you get in the water, it is crucial that you first take a kayaking lesson. Kayaking is not rocket science, but if you are going to put yourself in those waters, you must be guided through what to expect first. What is the best position to sit in a kayak? How do you paddle a kayak? What do you need to carry in your kayak before you set off into the waters? 

These are some of the questions that you will need an instructor or a pro to take you through first. The best part is that kayaking lessons are not expensive. If you are passionate about it, it will not take you long before you master it.

Go for the Right Kayak

The type of kayak you have will affect the kind of experience you get when kayaking. There is a wide range of different types of kayaks in the market to choose from. There is a lot to consider when selecting a kayak from design, stability, strength, flexibility, and maneuverability. These factors will affect the performance of your kayak. It is also essential to consider how you will be using your kayak, where you will be using it, and how often you will use it before purchase. Sit-on-top kayaks are the best recommendation for beginners as they are stable and easy to paddle.

Don’t do it Alone

Not only is it a fun experience to kayak with others, but it is also for your safety in case of an emergency. It is normal to become nervous and make mistakes, especially as a beginner. It is important to consider being a part of a paddling group as a beginner or an experienced kayaker. If you do not know anyone who has a boat, you can check around your local area for a paddling club. Kayaking with someone around will help you feel comfortable. Always remember that the more, the merrier, and the safer it will be.

Ensure Safety first

Again, safety goes a long way in kayaking. It does not matter if you are a beginner or an expert. There are Kayak safety measures you should adhere to. For example, the kayak can turn over at any point in the waters, and it is essential to know how to rescue yourself and those with you. Always make sure you are in your flotation devices (PFDs) before setting in for the waters. Put your life first in case of anything that may come up. It is essential to remind yourself that kayaks can be replaced, but people cannot not. This means that in no situation should you put your kayak’s safety before your life’s safety. Educate yourself on the potential dangers before you set on your adventure.

Be Ready to Get Wet!

This is a simple fact, but it is hard to emphasize it enough. When kayaking is so easy to get wet, a simple mistake can leave you soaked in a blink of an eye. Wearing the right kind of clothes as you set for kayaking can come in handy for you. Avoid wearing clothes made from cotton as it absorbs water and takes longer to dry. Clothes from polyester, wool, or nylon are the appropriate type for this type of sport. Your kind of footwear also matters here. Sandals and water shoes will be reliable and secure to carry you through. It is also essential to bring an extra pair of clothes to change in when you get wet.

Observe the Weather before you Dive in

Checking the weather forecast before heading out on the trip and a few days before it is vital. Paddling through drizzle and light rains can be ok but not set in the water during the heavy rains. Kayaking in heavy rains will fill your kayak’s cockpit with water and render it unstable before you know it. Strong winds are also not suitable for kayaking as they can make it hard for you to paddle in the right direction or even wreck your boat.

Be Friends with your Duct Tape

If you have to leave anything behind, ensure that it is not your duct tape. There is nothing that you cannot fix with enough duct tape. Is it a boat crack? Patch it up with duct tape. Do you want to secure gear from rolling around your kayak seat? A duct tape will do. Is it a crack in your paddle’s shaft? Tape it up—in an emergency, your duct tape can save you from it. Having waterproof tape will prevent the water from getting in your kayak. Include your duct tape in your must-have kayaking kit all time round.

Invest in a Good Paddle

Many beginners start with a budget-friendly starter kit, which is ok. However, if you are serious about kayaking, investing in a decent paddle is vital. Having the correct information to help you choose the best kayak to paddle is critical. Always remember that the right equipment is always half the battle. It is no secret that your choice of kayak paddle certainly will make a difference in your performance. Choose your paddle according to the purpose you intend to use it. Consider the size, shape, and where you will be using it as you choose your paddle.

Final Remarks

If you were looking for a new hobby to venture into, kayaking could be what you have been looking for. Apart from the fact that it is a fun sport to indulge in, it is also a great way to exercise your legs and arms. Killing two birds with the same stone, right? We hope that the tips above will guide you to having the best kayaking experience.

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